Gloria Theater, Cologne, Germany
Listening to their records suggests a band with a sparse instrumental sound, well acquainted with rock traditions like early-70s classic/ late-70s new wave/ 80s college/early-90s shoegaze/ and all psychedelic tropes since. Also that they’re not about to bother the mainstream any time soon, given that they’ve got no songs or melodies to speak of, although there is a vocalist. What they have, though, are good and memorable motifs on which to hang their instrumental adventures, and intensity in spades. There’s a timelessness about them too, as in, they could have appeared at any point in recent decades. I got to know them through the blog and seeing their show was a no-brainer as soon as their tour was announced.
All Them Witches is a conventional drums/bass/guitar/keyboards line-up, not exactly young, but clearly delighted to part of this band at this time. Live, they hit you from the off with wave after thrusting wave of intense tightly-coiled power which never lets up. No smokin’ break acoustic interludes, no sing-alongs, just a concentrated high power set. It suggests an amazing level of trust and mutual reliance and preparedness, given that they really aren’t, y’know, Mahavishnu-like virtuosi (although the guitar player does stand out) but nobody dominates, they work their asses off for each other and for the crowd. They’re masters of the kind of forward motion to be heard in, say, drum‘n’bass but it’s all real-time performance. They even manage a bit of sequencer-like Can/Krautrock/disco thrust played straight, each man a cog in the machine. Brilliant, just brilliant.
All Them Witches’ music isn’t in any way abstract, no weirdness, no awkward rhythms, no jazz chops, no showboating, just a timeless harnessing of the wonders of electric music. Me, I “danced” from start to finish, my body simply had to, it wasn’t a decision. They have got to be the hottest ticket in town right now and I urge anybody who has the chance to grasp this amazing phenomenon before something upsets the quite astonishing equilibrium they’ve carved out for themselves.
Two-thirds not older than 20, reasonable sprinkling of hipsters and oldies, evenly split between women and men.
It made me think..
Even when you’re over 60, it’s so exciting discovering a new favourite band.